There are very formative events in a teenager’s life that will shape them into who they will be as adults. Going to college at the age of 16 is one of these formative moments for me.
I’ll never forget the day I chose a parking spot on the packed college campus for my 11 o’clock class. “Wow”, I remember thinking. Everyone looked so old compared to me. You’re probably wondering how this happened. In Minnesota, where I grew up, there was a program called PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Option). PSEO allowed me to be on a college campus full time for free, while earning high school and college credits simultaneously. I remember stepping out of my car, and walking into the seemingly huge building that I would get lost in countless times over the course of the semester. I had left all of my high school friends behind and embarked on this adventure that would set me up for success for the rest of my life.
My first class of the day was 3 hours long, which is something I wasn’t used to. However, it started at 11 o’clock, instead of my usual 7:50 first in high school. Over the next few months, I matured exponentially. Going to college at a young age taught me that it is totally okay to make plans young. This great opportunity I was given enabled me to graduate with my bachelor’s at 19 years old. It also granted me an opportunity to manage a salon at 17 years old, since I had a flexible schedule and demonstrated leadership skills above some that were twice my age. I graduated high school with 30 college credits, completed for free.
None of this is a brag on me, though. If there are any 16-year-olds, or parents of 16-year-olds, reading this right now, see if this program is offered for your student! This changed my entire life, along with giving me countless opportunities and I am so grateful!
I would do this all over again without hesitation.